Expert To Check Nogales Border Security Equipment For Radiation Leakage

By Steve Shadley
Published: Monday, September 15, 2014 - 5:13pm
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A federal expert will be sent to Nogales to investigate if x-ray security equipment used by the U.S. Border Patrol is leaking radiation. It’s a response to concerns about the safety of a new scanning system installed at the Nogales Port of Entry.

Last week, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino told the city council he wants a study of U.S. Customs and Border Protection equipment called the “Z-Portal” that uses x-rays to scan vehicles to catch smugglers. Garino said increasing numbers of people in his city are being diagnosed with Lupus and Leukemia and he wants to make sure Z-Portal isn’t leaking radiation that’s making them sick. But Border Patrol spokeswoman Teresa Small said the scanner emits less radiation than a chest x-ray and people crossing the border don’t have to stay inside their vehicle while it’s screened.

"The travelers have the option to either drive the vehicle themselves through the actual x-ray equipment or they can actually have our officers be the one to drive our vehicle through,” Small said.

A Customs and Border Protection official said the Department of Homeland Security will send an expert to Nogales from Washington D.C. to check out the Z-portal. He said no port-of-entry workers have reported radiation sickness since the portal started operating in Nogales last June. 


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